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Tech Bits: Go Back in Time with Google Street View


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Did you now that you can use Google Maps to take a peek back in time? For some locations, mostly in urban areas, you can view the evolution of neighborhood development by accessing the photographs that Google has taken during previous years. 

For example, what did Pearson Hall on Main Campus look like before it was renovated with a second floor? What used to be on the corner where Morgan Hall is? What did the intersection of 18th & Arch look like before the new Comcast Innovation & Technology Center? The locations that are available depend on how often Google updated the Street View. It's a fun feature to play with to see what's out there. 

You can access the historical images on a laptop or desktop, but not a smart phone, through the Street View as follows:

  1. Go to 
  2. In the search box, type an intersection, address or landmark with a city and state. 
  3. Click the photo that appears under the search box. If there is more than one photo that appears, click on the one with a spinning arrow/360 icon to see the street view. 
  4. If street view and historical data are available, you will see the time icon  in the upper left portion of the photo. You may have to wait a little to see if it appears. As mentioned, not all locations have this historical feature. If the clock does appear, click the icon to see the timeline. 
  5. Then click the year you wish to see or slide the bar. The historical image will appear in the small frame. Click the image for a larger view. You can also click the larger view and then click and drag the mouse to navigate through the old neighborhood.